How to Become an Electrician in Lompoc California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Lompoc CA. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to consider. For instance, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Lompoc CA
There are three general ways to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Lompoc CA. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by California technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to finish and are provided by California junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some California colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Lompoc CA can perform a multitude of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Lompoc CA
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Lompoc CA are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Lompoc CA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Lompoc CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Lompoc CA students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Lompoc CA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lompoc CA electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Lompoc home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lompoc CA, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lompoc CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lompoc CA area.
Lompoc (/ˈlɒmpoʊk/, LOM-poke) (Purisimeño: Lompo', "Stagnant Water" ) is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, on the west coast of the United States. The city was incorporated on August 13, 1888. The population was 42,434 at the 2010 census, up from 41,103 at the 2000 census.
Before European settlers arrived, the area around Lompoc was inhabited by the Chumash people. The name of the city is derived from a Purisimeño term, "Lum Poc", which means "stagnant waters" or "lagoon". The Spanish called it "Lumpoco". In 1837, the Mexican government sold the area as the Rancho Lompoc land grant. After the United States gained control of California in the Mexican–American War (1846–48), the valley was acquired by Thomas Dibblee, Albert Dibblee and William Welles Hollister. Hollister sold his share to the Lompoc Valley Land Company, and it was on that portion of the land that the present-day Lompoc was established as a temperance colony.
Lompoc was originally intended to be named New Vineland, after the temperance colony in New Jersey. It then became a military town with the completion of nearby Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base). The city is known as the flower seed capital of the world.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Lompoc CA
Selecting the right electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Lompoc CA.
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